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Easy cowboy baked beans in dish with spoon

Easy Cowboy Baked Beans

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  • Author: Chef Lisa
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: side
  • Method: baked or smoked
  • Cuisine: American


Easy cowboy baked beans are a great side dish for any barbecue. Enjoy this simple recipe that can be done on the oven or the smoker.


  • 4 slices of bacon, sliced and browned (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small onion, cut into small to medium dice, (about 11/2 cups)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into small to medium dice, (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green pepper, cut into small to medium dice, (about 1 cup)
  • 3 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (or something sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice (or something sour)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F or if using a smoker, preheat the smoker anywhere between 225°F -325°F.
  2. In a medium or large saucepan with an oven-safe handle, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp and then remove and crumble and set aside.
  3. Dice the onion, celery, and green pepper and add to the bacon fat in the pan and cause until the vegetables are aromatic and the onion becomes translucent about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and add more sour ingredients if the flavor is flat. 
  5. Using hot pads, place the cowboy baked beans to the oven or smoker. (You can transfer the baked beans to a decorative casserole dish or bean pot that you want to serve in at this point.)
  6. Cook in preheated oven or smoker for 2 hours (or more if smoking at a lower temperature) until thick and bubbly.
  7. Serve warm.


Something sweet can be molasses, maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar.

Something sour can be the juice from dill pickles, sweet pickle relish, apple cider vinegar, etc.